North Pacific Groundfish
Alaska Shellfish (Crab)
West Coast Groundfish
Pacific Islands Region
Alaska Marine Mammal
Pacific Islands Region Observer Program
Tuna and swordfish are two of the most iconic fish in the world. Sleek and built for speed, these beautiful predators streak through tropical waters across the globe. In the Pacific Islands region around Hawaii and American Samoa, commercial longliners targeting tuna and swordfish are required to carry onboard observers. Saltwater has been the primary provider of observers for this program since its beginning in 2000. These professional biologists monitor fishing activity, target catch, and the incidental take of protected sea turtles, sea birds, marine mammals, and other bycatch.
Observers work aboard longline vessels collecting data on fishing effort, interactions with sea turtles (loggerhead, leatherback and green), protected sea birds like Laysan albatross and black-footed albatross, as well as whales and dolphins. NMFS uses observer data to calculate official estimates of protected species interactions and fishing effort.